More than 157 years ago, baby Elizabeth Jenette Bissell died in Joliet, Illinois. While it took more than 150 years to discover her final resting place, her gravestone will join those of the siblings she never knew in a small Iowa cemetery later this week.
I first wrote last month of the Internet connection that united Bissell family members in Iowa with Gina Wysocki in Illinois. That connection will result in the Bissell family adding baby Jenette’s gravestone to the family plot in Massena, Iowa, this Saturday, which marks the 159th anniversary of Jenette’s birth.
Young Jenette is believed to have died from cholera in March 1852. Her gravestone was discovered under three feet of dirt by Joliet city workers who were working on a children’s playground. It is believed that dozens – maybe hundreds – others are buried in the area where the gravestone was found.
Remains in the unmarked cemetery were undisturbed although city workers completed the children’s playground on the site. For more details on the story, check out the Chicago Tribune.
Meanwhile, Wysocki is looking forward to her meeting with her Iowa connection, Julie Bissell Tupker, this weekend.
“When Julie and I were planning the trip from both ends, the only date that we were both able to do it was on that weekend,” Wysocki said. “And, of course, the day of Jenette’s birthday!”
Writing prompt of the day: What’s the most exciting family history discovery you’ve made on the Internet?